Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Death in Love Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 19.8 GB
Film Size: 16.0 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: AThe Video
Death in Love comes to Blu-ray with a decent 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The movie sports the clear high-def image that cannot be confused with DVD, but is not particularly impressive among most high-def releases.

Most of the reasons that it does not particularly impress is due to the film itself and the ugly settings used throughout. Certain scenes tend to be shot slightly out of focus as well. The film also has a heavy amount of grain, which is luckily still present and not removed. Grain haters should stay far away from this as it is about as strong as it gets at times.

The movie won’t look visually appealing, but if you’re like me and cannot stand watching standard-definition material, you will certainly appreciate the added benefits of this Blu-ray release. The Blu-ray may not be very impressive visually, but you can appreciate it more when you realize how much quality is lost on the standard-definition version. 6/10.

The Audio
A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included on this Blu-ray release. The film is quite front heavy, although at times opens up to create a more immersive feeling.

Dialogue is of course the focus of the film and is presented through the center speaker, always crisp and clear as can be. Surround use could have been a bit more effective in my opinion, but most scenes have very little happening to need it.

While the mix is not extremely impressive, it does feature a nice clarity and upgrade that comes from a high-def audio track and I can appreciate that. I definitely don't think the audio could have sounded better, but more could have gone into the original mix itself. 6/10.

The Extras

Audio Commentary
With Actor Josh Lucas & Writer/Director Boaz Yakin.

Interviews (11:34) (SD)
Adam Brody
Boaz Yakin
Lukas Haas
Jacquelin Bisset
Josh Lucas

2nd Unit (2:34) (SD)
This is a feature about Alma Har’el, who serves as the 2nd Unit Director. Alma talks about filming the Concentration camp experiment scenes and shows a good amount of behind-the-scenes footage.

Sex in Death In Love (7:38) (HD)
This is a feature all about the sex in the film, something that the movie has plenty of.

Rehearsal (8:49) (HD)
Go behind-the scenes of rehearsals compared to final product.

Sundance Premiere (1:19) (SD)
The Director of the film talks about being able to present the film at the Sundance Film Festival, an event which I have been very fortunate to attend the past two years.

Sundance Q&A (5:59) (SD)
An excerpt from the Q&A which takes place after the film screening at Sundance is included.

For a smaller film this is definitely a very satisfying amount of bonus features. I appreciate the studio chose to include high-def features when they could have been presented in standard-definition. The extras will definitely please any fan of the film and shows a good amount of behind-the-scenes footage. 6/10.

The Movie
Death in Love was a title I had never heard about until I was notified of a planned Blu-ray release. The film features a cast which includes Josh Lucas, Lukas Haas, Adam Brody and Jacqueline Bisset. The film is about a mother and her two sons.

Josh Lucas plays the eldest of the two brothers and simply put, he is a sex addict. Lukas Haas plays the younger brother who still lives at home with their mother, where he spends his time composing music on his piano. The family is far from normal and we begin to see why as the film progresses.

The film starts off in a very disturbing way, we are in a concentration camp where children are being used as physical experiments in Germany and wow was it graphic and hard to watch. The beginning of the film will be confusing at first, but it all makes sense once the film develops and we realize why this family has the issues that it has.

This is the type of film that is very hard to talk about without spoiling bits and pieces of the film and why it is hard to explain the overall theme of the story. The movie is definitely better than I expected, but also one of the hardest movies I’ve had to sit through in a long time.

The amount of negativity on-screen is a bit overwhelming, but intentionally so. The story is quite dark and very graphic, both sexually and physically. This is definitely not a film for those who can’t stomach graphic material.

Death in Love is a depressing but very intriguing film. I really had no expectations whatsoever going into the film, but I found it to be quite decent. The story is original, but ultimately lacks replay value. As stated before, the film is a bit difficult to watch and may not be something you would prefer to watch again, despite the positive aspects of the film.

If you are interested in the film than I would definitely say it’s worth watching, just be aware of what to expect. The film is definitely not for everyone, which makes it a bit harder to recommend. Ultimately it’s a very riveting film; it just could have been better executed. 5.5/10.

Blu-news Summary
Death in Love is a very disturbing film, but a very solid film. I do believe the Blu-ray release to be very accurate to the source, featuring decent video and audio presentations, but neither will leave you necessarily impressed. The extras on this release are quite good and surprising for a smaller film. The Blu-ray release is certainly ‘Recommended’ to fans of the film. Those new to the film though should ‘Rent It First.

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